01/31/2014 10:12 EST | Updated 01/31/2014 10:59 EST

13 Amazing Chinese New Year 2014 Photos

Goodbye Year of the Snake, hello Year of the Horse!

Friday marks the start of 15 days of celebrations to ring in a new zodiac calendar year for over a billion people around the world. From grand lion dance performances to solemn temple ceremonies, the Lunar New Year is also special time for individual and collective reflection amid raucous merriment.

From a family gathering at North Korea's doorstep to a colourful underwater show in Jakarta, the following images are some of our favourites collected around the world of festivities.

Happy new year!

  • Hong Kong, China
    Hong Kong, China
     Lam Yik Fei/Bloomberg via Getty Images
    An employee arranges a display of gold horse figurines in the window of a Chow Sang Sang Holdings International Ltd. jewelry store in the Mongkok district of Hong Kong, China, on January 30.
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Rahman Roslan/Getty Images
    A Chinese girl surrounded by the crowd as they scramble for sweets and mandarin oranges thrown by the member of lion dance troop in Tien Hou Temple as Malaysians celebrate Chinese New Year on Jan. 31 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Chinese New Year is traditionally celebrated from the last day on the last month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month.
  • Binondo, Philippines
    Binondo, Philippines
     Bullit Marquez/AP Photo
    A fire eater performs in front of a business establishment in celebration of Chinese New Year at Manila's Chinatown district of Binondo, Philippines on January 31. This year in the Chinese Lunar calendar is the Year of the Horse.
  • Manila, Philippines
    Manila, Philippines
    Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images
    A shutter delay image shows Chinese Filipinos pray at the Seng Guan Temple in the Chinese district of Binondo on Jan. 30 in Manila, Philippines. Thousands gathered today to celebrate the Chinese New Year and welcome the Year of the Wooden Horse, with New Year's Day which falls on Jan. 31. Chinese New Year is the most important festival in the Chinese calendar and is widely celebrated across Asia.
  • Makassar, Indonesia
    Makassar, Indonesia
    AP Photo/Masyudi S. Firmansyah
    An elderly woman waits for customers at her shop that sells Chinese New Year decorations in Makassar, Indonesia on Jan. 30. Ethnic Chinese communities in the world's most populous Muslim country are preparing to celebrate the start of the year of the horse.
  • Beijing, China
    Beijing, China
    Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images
    Chinese performers take part in a traditional Qing Dynasty ceremony in which emperors prayed for good fortune, during Lunar New Year festivities at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing on Jan. 31. China welcomed in the Year of the Horse which sees about 3.62 billion trips made by Chinese travellers during the 40-day Spring Festival travel period.
  • London, England
    London, England
    Matt Dunham/AP Photo
    Performers pose for photographs in their lion costume backdropped by the London Eye during a photocall in London on Jan. 30. The London Eye was illuminated with red lighting Thursday evening to mark the start of the Chinese new year, the Year of the Horse, on Friday.
  • Jakarta, Indonesia
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images
    Indonesian performers dressed as mermaids wearing traditional Chinese cheongsam dress and a lion perform underwater in a special program celebrating the Lunar New Year at Jakarta's Ancol park on Jan. 31.
  • Shanghai, Chna
    Shanghai, Chna
    PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images
    A Chinese woman prays at Jing An Temple to mark the start of the Year of the Horse in Shanghai on Jan. 31. Millions of families gathered together to usher in the Year of the Horse, kicking off a week of celebrations in the country's most important holiday by visiting temples, indulging in feasts of dumplings and rice cakes and exchanging hongbao, red envelopes stuffed with "lucky money."
  • Manila, Philippines
    Manila, Philippines
    Nowl Celis/AFP/Getty Images
    A Chinese-Filipino prays at the Seng Guan Temple to mark the start of the Lunar New Year of the Horse in Manila's China town on Jan. 31. Tens of thousands of worshippers flocked to temples to pray for good luck and fortune for the new year.
  • Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) at Imjingak, Paju, South Korea
    Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) at Imjingak, Paju, South Korea
    Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
    North Korean-born Kang Myeong-wook (R) bows with his granddaughter towards the North Korean border at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) at Imjingak, Paju, in South Korea's Gyeonggi Province on January 31. Many South Korean families with members originating from the North visit the DMZ during the Lunar New Year holiday to send symbolic offerings to relatives thought to still be there.

    Meanwhile South Korea called on North Korea to honour its promise to hold a reunion of families from the two countries, separated for decades, after days of silence by Pyongyang.
  • Kudus, Central Java, Indonesia
    Kudus, Central Java, Indonesia
    Andreas Fitri Atmoko/AP Photo
    An Indonesian ethnic Chinese holds up incense sticks as he prays in a flooded temple during Lunar New Year celebration in Kudus, Central Java, Indonesia on January 31. Heavy tropical downpours often cause floodings each year in the country, where millions of people live in mountainous regions and near fertile flood plains close to rivers.
  • Chongqing, China
    Chongqing, China
    ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images
    People burn the incense and pray at a temple to welcome the Chinese New Year of the Horse on Jan. 30 in Chongqing, China. Tens of thousands of worshippers flocked to temples across to pray for good luck and fortune for the new year.

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